Is There Anything You Can Do to Protect Your Septic Tank?

The septic tank is part of a system in your home that handles and clarifies the waste that is generated by days, months, and years of toilet and sink use. Because the tank is underground, it's not uncommon for people to forget about it completely until there's a blockage that causes raw sewage to begin backing up into drains inside the home. To avoid that, protect your septic tank and allow it to perform its function with these pointers.

Be Wary of Anti-Bacterial Products

It might seem smart to use products which boast anti-bacterial properties. After all, you want to avoid germs on house surfaces and your concern could be that the family not pick up bacteria that lead to sicknesses.

However, for your septic tank, anti-bacterial products can be detrimental. Healthy, "good" bacteria reside in the tank at all time to work on breaking down waste that enters the tank. Without this breakdown by the bacteria, the entire tank would be full of solid waste. When you're cleaning with products that kill bacteria, it kills most or all of that "good" bacteria, even though it is diluted most of the time. Instead, start investigating natural solutions to dealing with germs.

Don't Plant in the Drainfield

Just like the septic tank, the drainfield serves a very specific purpose. The drainfield is a name given to the underground soil area where the septic tank's outlet pipe leads to. The partially-clarified wastewater that comes out of that pipe is permitted to drain into the soil underground. Without the drainfield, liquids would build up without any way to be removed. Planting trees and bushes in the soil on top of the drainfield will one day cause roots to infiltrate the area and possibly block the septic tank's outlet pipe.

Set Up Regular Septic Tank Pumping

Even with the bacteria and drainfield in place, you're going to have to have that tank pumped. Pumping can reveal how many bacteria are left and whether all solids are being moved out. During a pumping visit the professional can also ensure other elements of the system are doing what they should. They will also look at the tank itself, hidden from view most of the time, to see if cracks or other structural problems need to be addressed. While there isn't a hard rule about when pumping must happen, planning to do it each year can be wise unless you're told your tank will have to be pumped more often.

Protecting your tank is very possible when you use the guidance laid out here. Keep your plumber or other septic professional aware of what you're doing so that they can provide additional assistance to you.